Have you noticed your newborn sneezing quite frequently? And is it troubling you these days? Let us tell you that you have nothing to worry about because this is a common occurrence in many babies.
One of the most common reasons for your newborn sneezing could be infant congestion. However, it is not the only reason, as allergies, narrow nasal passageways, and dry air are other reasons for your infant sneezing so much.
In this article, we’ll explore the causes behind excessive sneezing and the home remedies you can use to help your newborn baby.
What Causes Babies To Sneeze A Lot?
We mean, there’s got to be a reason behind the sneezing. What actually makes the babies sneeze so much?
Well, there is a list of reasons that can help you in answering this question:
1. Sneeze Reflex
If you have heard about the cough reflex, then the sneeze reflex would be a piece of cake for you.
Babies sneeze whenever something foreign enters their nasal cavity. It could be breast milk during feeding, dust or mucus. A baby sneezes to expel them out of the nasal cavity to ensure that all these don’t enter the airways.
Intelligent, isn’t it?
2. Narrow Nasal Passages
Have you looked at the size of a newborn baby? It’s so tiny!
Then you can try to (at least) imagine how small and narrow the nasal passages would be. In infants, the nasal passageways can get clogged very easily, and in order to open them, babies sneeze.
It’s not like they want to – but they have to.
3. Dry Seasons & Dry Air
You would definitely come across your newborn sneezing more during autumn than in summer.
It is because of the dry air that irritates the nasal lining, causing it to release more mucus in order to keep the nasal cavity moist. And this eventually leads to a build-up of mucus, which makes your baby sneeze.
4. Amniotic Fluid – Are You Still There?
Well, sometimes, the amniotic fluid isn’t really ready to leave – so it stays.
And when this happens, then it accumulates in your baby’s nose. Because of its accumulation, it can trigger the sneeze reflex, causing your baby to sneeze more than they usually do.
It’s not something to worry about as the amniotic fluid clears up in a few days.
5. Allergic Reactions
Newborns are incredibly delicate, and almost everything can cause an allergic reaction.
Your baby would likely be allergic to dust, pollen, the fragrance of your shampoo, or the material of the pillowcase – like we said before, almost everything.
The only thing you can do is figure out if it’s an allergy or not. And once you have determined the cause, then you can try your best to eliminate the agent.
6. Small Noses
While small noses are adorable and wanted by everyone, they can be a bit of a problem for newborns.
Because of the small size, the dust particles find it easy to lodge themselves and cause irritation in the nasal passageways. And inevitably, irritation is followed by sneezing.
Let’s take a look at one of the most common problems in newborn babies – congestion.
Infants are newborns who fall in the age bracket of 0 till 2 months. Yes, this is when you label a newborn as an infant. And it is also a fact that the immune system is not fully developed by this time, allowing them to fall victim to diseases like – common cold.
Once your baby has contracted the common cold, the sneeze reflex would come into play, trying to expel the viruses out of the nasal cavity and the respiratory tract. It does this by making excessive mucus. The excess mucus can accumulate in the nose and the airways, which is referred to as congestion.
Now infant congestion can be of two types; nasal and chest congestion. Let’s dive into each one of them separately and understand the difference between them.
1. Nasal Congestion
Nasal congestion can occur as a result of allergies, deviated nasal septum or dry air.
Following are the symptoms that can help you figure out if your baby is suffering from a congested nose:
- Thick nasal mucus
- Difficulty in eating
2. Chest Congestion
On the other hand, babies suffer from chest congestion due to pneumonia, premature childbirth or asthma. So if your baby is continuously coughing, wheezing, and grunting, then it could mean that your baby has a congested chest.
What Are The Treatment Options?
Your baby having a congested chest, nose or sneezing a lot is not a grave problem. It happens to all the babies once in a while and only requires extra care. With proper attention, love and a few home remedies, there’s nothing you cannot fix.
1. Nasal Drops
Your doctor will help you with this. They’ll recommend the nasal saline drops that you should use, and only two or three drops are enough to break down the thick mucus.
2. Don’t Stop Feeding Your Baby
If your baby is unwell or is sneezing quite a lot, it doesn’t mean that you should stop feeding your baby. On the contrary, it is crucial to keep them hydrated and well-fed at all times. This will boost the immune system and help fight against the virus.
3. Care & Affection
It goes without saying that you need to take extra care of your baby while they are unwell. Hot baths and ensuring that they are comfortable at all times will help boost the recovery.
Humidifiers are easily available online and can prove to be quite effective against dry air. Cool mist is the best option when it comes to humidifiers, and it can help to loosen the excessive mucus causing congestion.
Even babies love massages!
You can try massaging the temples, forehead, bridge of the nose, and cheekbones as well. Having a congested nose or chest could be pretty annoying for your baby, and the best you can try is to give them comfort.
So, sneezing is okay; it’s normal. Infants tend to sneeze more than adults, and it’s not a problem. However, it isn’t always right to ignore a sneezing infant. If you notice a slight increase in the frequency of the sneezes – there’s no harm in getting a consultation.